Role of Immune Reactions in Response to Toxic Metals

  • J. L. Turk
Part of the Biological Council book series (BCSDA)


One of the earliest indications that toxic metals could cause tissue damage as a result of an immunological reaction comes from the observations of Jadassohn (1896). Jadassohn was a dermatologist who found that patients with dermatitis, following treatment with mercuric chloride, would react directly at the site of contact with this compound. This use of a localized ‘patch test’ to indicate a state of hypersensitivity to a simple chemical agent opened up the whole field of contact sensitivity, now known to be one of the most important forms of cell-mediated immune reactions. It is accepted now that contact sensitivity to simple chemical compounds is one of the major causes of industrial morbidity in our technicological society.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Biology Endowment Fund 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Turk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Royal College of SurgeonsLincoln’s Inn FieldsLondonUK

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